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Security Council extends Abyei force until November

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A ground patrol team in Gok Machar on 27 July 2018 (UNIFSA photo)
May 14, 2020 (NEW YORK) - The United Nations Security Council on Thursday unanimously extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for an additional six months.

The 15-member body endorsed the extension through a written procedure under extraordinary measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said a statement issued at the end of the videoconference meeting.

"By the terms of resolution 2519 (2020), the Council decided to extend the mandate for activities in the area bordering Sudan and South Sudan and reiterated its demand for both countries to provide full support for the mission, including by removing any obstacles hindering efforts to protect civilians in Abyei," reads the statement.

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council further decided to extend UNISFA tasks, as set out in paragraph 3 of resolution 1990 (2011) about the protection of mission personnel and facilities.

It also decided that UNISFA should continue to implement its mandate and tasks including support to the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism,

The Council reiterated that the Abyei Area shall be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA and the Abyei Police Service.

It also urged Khartoum and Juba and the local communities to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei is effectively demilitarized and to extend full cooperation to UNISFA in this regard.

As of January 2020, there are 3,486 military personnel, 217 civilians, 35 police, 145 experts, 129 staff officer, 32 UN volunteers.

In Khartoum, the head of the Sovereign Council directed to accelerate the steps that would promote peaceful coexistence between the societal components in the Abyei area.

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was briefed by the National Committee on the situation in the Abyei about the security situation in the area following the increase of intercommunal violence between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya.

According to a statement released in Khartoum, the meeting also discussed ways to strengthening cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan to establish joint mechanisms between the two countries following the agreements signed between two countries.

(ST)

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